American teenager with illness meets K-pop idols

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Donika Sterling from New York, center, poses for the media with members of South Korean pop group SHINee during their meeting in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, June 20, 2012. The 15 year-old American K-pop fan, who is suffering a disease that gradually causes loss of muscle tissue and slows down parts of the body, met and sang with the boy band she idolizes. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — An American teenage girl with a serious illness has been able to sing with the South Korean boy band she idolizes.

Donika Sterling on Wednesday told the five-member K-pop group SHINee in Korean that she loved them.

The 15-year-old has Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, which gradually causes the loss of muscle tissue and slows down parts of the body.

Sterling and SHINee both sang parts of the 2009 song "Ring Ding Dong." She smiled and clasped a bracelet given to her by a SHINee member.

SHINee members told reporters they were extremely touched when Donika said the group's music gives her strength.

Sterling is from Brooklyn and said she hopes to see SHINee again if they have a New York concert.